Former NWA and WCW wrestler Nikita Koloff recently sat down for an interview with Wrestling Inc.’s Drew Rice for The Wrestling Inc. Daily. During the interview Koloff addressed why he had stepped away from WCW in the late 1980’s.
“Well, the time off, to clarify, wasn’t business related as much as it was personal related,” revealed Koloff. “My wife had been diagnosed with cancer at the age of 24. She had Hodgkin’s and she went through a series of chemotherapy and radiation but it ended up coming back with more vengeance. And it was at that time, at that moment, that I told WCW that I was going to step away, take a sabbatical if you will.
“I mean, I’m in the peak of my career, right? I’m in the main event. I told them I’d be back, but she was a priority. And she unfortunately passed away at age 26. That’s the main reason why I stepped away for a season of time there at WCW.”
Koloff said the entire ordeal had a significant impact on him. He would go on to say that it was that experience that really taught him the shortness and brevity of life. He says he also calls upon those past experiences to help others who may be going through what he did.
While speaking about his eventual retirement from professional wrestling in 1992, which he had already been planning for, Koloff was asked if he would have stayed in the business had Vince McMahon come calling with an offer. Koloff said no, and discusses the opportunities he believes he would’ve had if he’d ultimately gone to the WWF.
“I was committed to my goals,” Koloff answered adamantly. “I’m a goal setter. I always have been, for many, many years. When my minds made up, that’s what I’m going to do. So, I had made up my mind that I [was going to] retire and walk away from active wrestling, and [with] no regrets. And I look back, of course back in the days with magazines before the internet and all that, they were touting the Hulk Hogan vs. Nikita Koloff WrestleMania, ‘what would happen if?’ And I feel confident to say I certainly could have went there [to the WWF]. I could’ve had a run with Hogan, I feel confident. And who knows? It’s part of the speculation.”
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